Donna Gay Long, age 80, died at 1:46 pm on Friday, December 10, 2021, at Faith Presbyterian Hospice in Dallas, Texas.
"Donna Gay" was born on May 16, 1941, in Greenville, Texas, the daughter and first child of Johnnie and Virginia (Baker) Norton. Five years later, she was joined by a brother, Jan Norton.
Donna graduated from Greenville High School in 1959. She then studied for one year at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. At the end of that school year, on May 9, 1960, she married her longtime high school sweetheart, John "Johnny" Robert Long, who was then enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. She joined him in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was stationed.
In 1961, their son, Victor, was born at the United States Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Victor was named after her dearly beloved grandfather, Silas Victor "S.V." Baker. Upon returning to Texas, they became parents of a daughter, Julie, born in their hometown of Greenville in 1966.
John's work in the electronics industry moved the family to Garland in 1968, where they remained until moving to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in 1981, where they lived for fifteen years.
After a brief relocation to Houston, Texas, John died on October 11, 1996. Afterward, Donna invested herself fully into the lives of her grandchildren, who adored her. To Victor's children, she was known as "Bugga." To Julie's, she was "Grama."
When her own children were growing up, Donna was a stay-at-home mother – truly a "home-maker." She later worked in various clerical and secretarial positions, including Texas Power and Light in Plano, Texas, and Jane Phillips Memorial Hospital in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Donna Long is described by others as sweet, kind, gentle, and loving. She always took great pride in her appearance and was a gracious presence to others.
A lifelong Methodist, Donna was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Garland, Texas, where a Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 16, 2021. A public visitation will precede the service at 10:00 am, and burial will occur at 3:00 pm at the East Mount Cemetery in Greenville, Texas, where she will be interred alongside her beloved husband, parents, and grandparents.
Donna is survived by her son Rev. Victor Long and wife Jennifer, of Mount Vernon, Illinois; daughter Julie Long and husband Richard Grigsby of Wylie, Texas; grandchildren Autumn Long, Erin Wilson and husband Kris, Lauren Long, Alec Draganski, and Carson Long; step-granddaughter, Ashley Parker; and her brother, Jan Norton and wife Ruth, of Grove, Oklahoma. She also leaves behind a beloved pet dog, Jojo, who brought her much joy and companionship during her final years.
Memorial gifts may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Garland (801 West Avenue B, Garland, TX 75040); First United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon (1133 Main Street, Mount Vernon, IL 62864); or Faith Presbyterian Hospice (12477 Merit Drive, Dallas, TX 75251).
Someone has said, "If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." Donna Long changed her small part of the world by doing just that.
Her memory will be a blessing to everyone who knew her.